I love movies. If I am watching a movie at home I feel like I need to be folding laundry or working or something. But sitting in a theater, I feel as though I am allowed (required even!) to sit in the dark and give it my full attention.
Not everyone gets to enjoy this temporary getaway, however, when it is all a bit too much for your child’s sense–or even your own. So I was thrilled to see that AMC Theaters and the Autism Society have teamed up to allow families who are affected by autism (or other disabilities–anyone qualifies) a chance to see movies in a environment that won’t overload their senses.
The idea for this program all started when one parent who had a child with autism asked for a special screening at AMC Columbia Mall 14 in Columbia, MD. And guess what? More than 300 children and parents attended the first screening! See what one person can do?
AMC Theaters has began a monthly “Sensory Friendly Films” program. They state, “In order to provide a more accepting and comfortable setting for this unique audience, the movie auditoriums will have their lights brought up and the sound turned down, families will be able to bring in their own gluten-free, casein-free snacks, and no previews or advertisements will be shown before the movie.”
And get this… you can even get up, dance, walk, sing or shout if ya feel like it. Some of us may feel like going to these films just so we can move around if we need to!
AMC’s regular “Silence is Golden®” policy will not be enforced unless the safety of the audience is questioned. (That means no dancing on other people’s laps I think.) Check here to see if there is a theater near you. Though not all AMCs are currently participating, I suggest that if the AMC theater near you is not participating in the program yet, and you’d like to see it there, call up and ask them to do so.
- Though we’ve already missed Tin Tin which was on January 7th, here are the future listings:
- February 25 – The Secret World of Arrietty
- March 10 – Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax
- April 7 – Pirates! Band of Misfits
All shows are at 10:00 am local time.
To find out more information, as well as upcoming movie dates, see the AMC theaters website. Please share with any parents you might think could benefit from this! And. . . tell AMC theaters thank you!